Long distance sourcing

8 April 2008

According to the latest SM poll 36 per cent of buyers source from China, with a further 4 per cent beginning in the next 12 months. And even those that do not buy directly from suppliers in the country said many of the products they buy originate in China anyway.

But how many have actually set foot on Chinese soil and met the suppliers they purchase directly from? While this may be okay for those making a one-off purchase or sourcing low value goods, it can present a lot of potential problems – including language and cultural barriers, a lack of knowledge about how the goods are manufactured and by whom, and ignorance about how the operation is run.

Have you ever bought anything from China without visiting? What was your experience?      

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